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Oh, what I wouldn’t give for a plate of fried green tomatoes like we used to have at the cafe. Ooh!
Welcome to the first Progressive Eats virtual dinner! Come on over and grab a bite.
Progressive Eats is inspired by the neighborhood progressive dinners that used to be all the rage. For each course you visit a different participating house, enjoying the hospitality and creativity of your friends at each stop. Now that most Americans don’t live within walking distance of our friends’ homes, progressive dinners are a little trickier to organize — so a group of us decided to take the dinner party online.
Each month, we’ll be bringing you a dishes centered on a theme, chosen by that month’s host. This month our host is Lana from Never Enough Thyme, and she chose Summer in the South.
Now, most Texans will deny that we live in the South and take the opportunity to remind you that we were once our own country, but it’s a big state, and much of our food is quite clearly influenced by Southern traditions. From biscuits to purple hull peas, lard-crust pies and peach cobblers, Southern food is the stuff we often long for when we think of “home”.
For today’s dinner party I decided to make classic Fried Green Tomatoes, and add a bit of local inspiration with the Smoked Tomato and Basil Aioli. I know, I know, tomato-on-tomato? But it works.
The smoked tomatoes came from one of the local farms, where they slow-roasted them in big batches. If you can’t get your hands on smoked tomatoes, you can use sun-dried tomatoes or even dry your own tomatoes. Just be sure to use smoked paprika to get that depth of flavor.
Plus, if you have leftover aioli, it is fabulous on a BLT. Possibly life-changing, if you’re a mayo skeptic.
Fried Green Tomatoes with Smoked Tomato Basil Aioli
For the tomatoes
- 1 pound green tomatoes
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Ancho chile powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 2 cups cornmeal
- Oil for frying
For the aioli
- 2 smoked tomato slices
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2-3 basil leaves
- Pinch salt
- Cut tomatoes into 1/2-inch slices and discard ends.
- Whisk together flour, garlic powder, chile powder, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl.
- In a second bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Add cornmeal to a third bowl.
- Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat. When oil shimmers, it’s ready to go.
- Dip tomato slices in flour mixture, coating evenly and tapping to remove excess. Coat in egg mixture, then dredge in cornmeal. Repeat with remaining slices.
- Fry tomatoes for 2-3 minutes per side, then let drain on a paper towel.
- To make the aioli, blend all ingredients together until smooth using an immersion blender or food processor. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve with the tomatoes.
Be sure to visit all the Progressive Eats participants to round out your meal!
Never Enough Thyme – Creole Style Smothered Chicken
The Heritage Cook – Old Bay Shrimp Boil Skewers
Stetted – Fried Green Tomatoes with Smoked Tomato Basil Aioli
Savvy Eats – Jalapeno Cornbread + How to Store Cornbread
Miss in the Kitchen – Creamy Coleslaw
Life’s a Feast – Shrimp, Grilled Peach and Quinoa Salad
Spiceroots – Maque Choux Soup
Creative Culinary – Bacon and Caramelized Onion Creamed Corn
Pastry Chef Online – Spicy Succotash
Healthy. Delicious. – Watermelon Lemonade
Barbara Bakes – Key Lime Pound Cake
That Skinny Chick Can Bake – Banana Cream Cheesecake Pie